Endless possibilities abound when it comes to spending a summer day in Coronado or jaunting just over the bridge. Whether you want to get out on the water, salute the troops, enjoy nature’s bounty or just be a good sport, we’ve got you covered!
For the water lover
Award-winning beaches, glistening bays and crystal-clear swimming pools are beckoning you to take a dip!
- Seaforth Boat Rentals has everything you could want for adventures on the water. Rent jet skies, paddleboards, pedal boats, kayaks, and even a “BBQ-donut” so you and your friends can grill right on the water. 1715 Strand Way, (888) 834-2628
- The Coronado community pool is your best bet for lap and recreational swimming and water aerobics. Summertime family swim hours are Monday-Friday, 12:30-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. www.coronado.ca.us or (619) 522-7342
- Coronado’s beaches rank in the top 10 in the world year after year, according to geoscientist Stephen Parker Leatherman, aka “Dr. Beach.” Build a sandcastle, play beach volleyball, and practice your stingray shuffle in the salty Pacific waves. Boogie and skim board rentals are available at Little Sam’s, 1343 Orange Ave. or (619) 435-4068.
- The Port of San Diego’s Waterfront Park along San Diego’s Embarcadero features an interactive fountain the length of two football fields that’s designed for play. Thirty-one jets shoot 14-foot arcs of water over one-inch shallow pools, perfect for little water lovers. Take the Coronado Ferry to the Broadway Pier, head two blocks north and it’s on your right. (619) 232-PARK
- Cowabunga, dude! The Coronado Surfing Academy gives surf lessons for all levels and provides hourly rentals, so you’ll be hanging 10 in no time. coronadosurfing.com
- If you have water babies, both Tidelands and Glorietta Bay Park offer calm water beaches, so small children can wade without crashing waves, and you can launch a stand-up paddleboard or kayak without any fuss.
- Snorkel among California’s state fish, the vibrant orange garibaldi, in La Jolla Cove’s underwater kelp beds. The cove is below the sea cliffs off Coast Boulevard, directly below downtown La Jolla’s Prospect Street. Get snorkel gear at Bike & Kayak Tours by La Jolla Shores at 2158 Avenida de la Playa. (858) 454-1010
For the sports enthusiast
Like a little friendly competition? Or just want to get active? Move on out!
- Since 1935, the corner of Seventh & D has been home to the Coronado Lawn Bowling Club. Try your hand; free twilight bowling takes place Thursday nights at 6 through Aug. 31. San Diego County residents can also receive a free lesson by appointment; call (619) 319-5509.
- Coronado Community Center’s indoor climbing rock wall features flat faces and overhangs that make it suitable (and fun) for all levels. (619) 522-7342
- Coronado’s Skatepark’s 16,000 square feet of bowls, ramps, jumps and turns will keep skateboarders and inline skaters entertained for hours. Tidelands Park (2000 Mullinex Drive) or (619) 708-8341
- Coronado is home to four world-class tennis court complexes: at the Coronado Cays; next to the Coronado Library; on Pomona overlooking Glorietta Bay and the Coronado Golf Course; and in the 500 block of D Avenue. (619) 522- 2650
- Stay under par on world-class greens with scenic views of the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge. In addition to regular tee times, the 18-hole Coronado Golf Course offers summer twilight tee times starting at 3 p.m. for a discounted price. Call (619) 435-6590 for scheduling.
- On Saturday, Sept. 2, the Optimist Sports Fiesta will get the whole family involved in friendly competition. (See calendar, page 16, for details.)
- Take me out to the ball game! Watch the San Diego Padres face off in Petco Park, built around the historical Western Metal Supply Building. Take the 901 bus from Coronado to the 12th and Imperial Transit Center; you’ll be about a block away from the park’s south entrance. There’s also a 2.7-acre “Park at the Park” adjacent to Petco Park, where a huge outdoor screen keeps you up on the play-by-play and kids can run free and horse around in the Little League area. At $15 to $30 a ticket, it’s an affordable way to enjoy the ballgame with the whole family. petcoparkinsider.com
For the nature lover
- Jutting into the ocean in front of the Hotel del Coronado is a jetty of rocks, once the foundation for the hotel’s pier, now home to tide pools full of small marine life. Explore the rocks to see crawling crabs and colorful barnacles and mosses, but be sure to leave sea creatures undisturbed.
- Prefer to explore sea life without getting your feet wet? The Birch Aquarium in La Jolla houses some of Southern California’s most vibrant sea life — exotic sea horses, jelly fish, and sand sharks. aquarium.ucsd.edu
- The Living Coast Discovery Center at the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Center in Chula Vista is a serene place to explore the coastal wildlife that calls San Diego home. You can even pet sting rays and leopard sharks. thelivingcoast.org or (619) 409-5900
- Take a quick jaunt down the Silver Strand to the end of Seventh Street in Imperial Beach, where you’ll find some of the best bird watching in the county. Work your way back up on foot (about a mile) to the South Bay Marine Biological Study Area where you can spot a large array of coastal birds.
- About 20 minutes south of the Coronado bridge is the Tijuana Estuary, where the visitors center’s exhibits will teach you about the Tijuana watershed and plants and animals native to the area. A series of trails allow you to explore the peaceful surroundings; trail maps and bird identification pamphlets will guide you. It’s free to the public and open in the summer Wednesdays to Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. trnerr.org or (619) 575-3613
- The San Diego Zoo is always worth a trip over the bridge. Visitors can feed animals and come face-to-face with orangutans, plus the zoo is home to more than 700,000 plant species, so there’s something for every nature lover to see. Until Sept. 4, hours are extended to run between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Animals are at their most active during feeding times in the morning and at dusk, so plan your visit accordingly. sandiegozoo.org
- Every Sunday a free, one-hour walking tour leaves at 1:30 p.m. from the lifeguard headquarters on Silver Strand State Beach to explore animals and plants in various habitats of the beach. Binoculars are provided for viewing. (619) 435-5184
For the military buff
You, too, can celebrate our nation’s troops in any number of ways.
- Visit the USS Midway Museum where 60 exhibits, 29 restored aircraft, interactive flight simulators, and guided audio tours narrated by former Midway sailors (many from Coronado!) all bring the rich history of this Navy vessel to life. Open daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. midway.org
- Just around the corner from the Midway museum is Kansas City Barbeque, where you can get a huge plate of ribs surrounded by cult classic Top Gun memorabilia. Yes, this is where the movie’s famous piano scene was shot.
- Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2422 Auxiliary, at 557 Orange Ave., hosts a steak barbecue every Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m. this summer. $15 buys you steak, baked potato and salad. You can even order it to go! (619) 435-6947
- Third and Fourth streets are now home to the “Avenue of Heroes” saluting Coronado residents who have honorably served or are currently serving in the U.S. military. Banners are changed every six months on or around Memorial Day and Veterans Day; soldiers honored are chosen via application by members of the Coronado VFW Post 2422 and the Coronado Historical Association. It is a fitting avenue for the tribute as the streets lead directly to and from Naval Air Station North Island.
- Star Park, so named because five streets radiate from its center, is home to two military canons, gifted from Gen. Joseph Pendleton, whom Camp Pendleton Marine Base was named after. The canons and a large rock taken from the Ocean Boulevard seawall and dedicated to Coronado’s veterans rest under the ever-flying American flag. Complete with towering magnolia trees and benches, Star Park is a peaceful place to commemorate those who have served.
- McP’s Irish Pub on the corner of Orange and C avenues is “Home of the SEALs” and you’ll often spy these elite special forces chowing down at the pub or enjoying Sunday concerts on its “Paddy-O.” Owned by former Navy SEAL Greg McPartlin, you can get bar food classics and drinks amid military memorabilia that line the walls. A colorful outdoor mural is a tribute to Coronado’s Frogmen. 1107 Orange Ave., mcpspub.com
- What locals refer to as “the sound of freedom” often is heard throughout the island. All sorts of Navy aircraft fly over Central Beach into Naval Air State North Island. At dusk, find a quiet respite not far from the Navy base and you’ll likely hear a recording of a bugle playing Taps. And on Sunday nights around 9 if you think you are hearing fireworks but don’t see them lighting up the sky, think again. That rat-a-tat-tat you hear is probably the beginning of another “Hell Week” training session for Navy SEALs.